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Sushi Etiquette

Updated on June 1, 2010

Doesn't it look delicious? But before you rush to dig in, slow down and learn the etiquette behind eating Japanese sushi. 

First of all, if you want to learn more about sushi itself, please check out my other 3 hubs dealing with sushi located to the right. 

Let's begin your crash course in sushi consumption etiquette.

  1. Chopsticks: Almost all eating establishments in Japan use disposable chopsticks. Pick them up, split them as cleanly as possible and go for it. When not using them you can place them on your plate, or on the chopstick rest next to your plate. If you can't use chopsticks, you're in luck. Read on to see why.
  2. It's perfectly acceptable to use your hands. This is not generally done in this day and age, but it is the traditional way to eat sushi. Make sure your hands are clean first.
  3. Prep the soy sauce before you begin eating. In fancy sushi restaurants, the wasabi (horse radish) is usually placed inside the sushi, so it is not necessary to add to mix it with your soy sauce. Regardless, you should poor your soy sauce into the dish thats usually provided in order to make dipping of your sushi easier. 
  4. Pick up your sushi carefully, and flip it over. Ideally you want to dip the fish side of the sushi into the soy sauce, not the rice. This can be tricky because you have to flip the sushi over. However if you are doing it by hand it should be no problem. Place the sushi with the fish side touching your tongue, into your mouth.
  5. If possible sushi is designed to be eaten all in one bite. It will completely fall apart and make a mess otherwise. 

That's my crash course on sushi etiquette. If you want to learn more about sushi check out my other hubs on sushi by clicking the links below. Thanks and happy sushi eating!


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    • vaguesan profile image

      vaguesan 7 years ago from Osaka, Japan

      It's true! If you ever see someone eating with their fingers, don't look down on them. They are a true connoisseur!

    • Jeff Berndt profile image

      Jeff Berndt 7 years ago from Southeast Michigan

      I had no idea that sushi was considered to be finger-food. Thanks for the hub!